Neighborhood news in brief for the week of Dec. 18

Read about a sink­hole in North­ern Liber­ties, Rep. John Taylor's toy drive, PGW's latest work in the neigh­bor­hood, Stand­ard Tap's dona­tions to Phil­abund­ance, how to cut your taxes and more in this week's news in brief.

Triple shoot­ing in Kens­ing­ton leaves one dead

One man was killed and two oth­ers are in crit­ic­al con­di­tion after a triple shoot­ing on the 3300 block of Jasper Street on Sunday, Dec. 15. 

Ac­cord­ing to 6ABC, au­thor­it­ies ar­rived at the scene just be­fore 4 p.m. to find a 19-year-old vic­tim shot once in the back of the head. The man was pro­nounced dead at the scene. 

Two oth­ers were brought to Temple Uni­versity Hos­pit­al and are lis­ted in crit­ic­al con­di­tion.

Chief In­spect­or Scott Small said that there were sev­er­al oth­ers who were in­side the house at the time of the shoot­ing. They have been taken to hom­icide to be in­ter­viewed by de­tect­ives. 

Small said a small amount of nar­cot­ics and nar­cot­ic paraphernalia was found at the scene, which leads au­thor­it­ies to be­lieve that drugs were in­volved. 

Po­lice said the motive and de­tails sur­round­ing the shoot­ing are un­clear. No ar­rests have been made. The in­cid­ent is cur­rently un­der in­vest­ig­a­tion. 

Sink­hole opens up on North­ern Liber­ties street

A sink­hole swal­lowed up a pickup truck on the 900 block of N. Ran­dolph St. earli­er this month.

Res­id­ent Ben­jamin Rodrig­uez told KYW News­ra­dio he re­ceived a call on the morn­ing of Dec. 5 say­ing that the street was sink­ing around his Dodge Ram pickup truck. 

A tow truck was needed to re­trieve the vehicle from the hole.

Ac­cord­ing to 6ABC, after some neigh­bors’ wa­ter stopped work­ing, res­id­ents said they con­tac­ted the Phil­adelphia Wa­ter De­part­ment, who said res­id­ents are re­spons­ible for pay­ing for re­pairs to lat­er­al lines, which run from the wa­ter main to the house.

This is not the first time this has happened in the area, neigh­bors told ABC. They said there was a sim­il­ar oc­cur­rence on the same block in May.  

The Wa­ter De­part­ment was on the scene on Dec. 5 to as­sess prob­lems. 

Po­lice look­ing for rob­bery sus­pects

In­vest­ig­at­ors are reach­ing out to the pub­lic, hop­ing someone can identi­fy two armed sus­pects who robbed Ar­i­el Gro­cery, 2090 Pa­cific St. on the af­ter­noon of Dec. 9, ac­cord­ing to 6ABC.

The two hooded men ap­proached the counter as if mak­ing a pur­chased and poin­ted a hand­gun at the em­ploy­ee. The sus­pect was giv­en cash from the re­gister and also de­man­ded the em­ploy­ee’s gold en­gage­ment and wed­ding rings. 

The sus­pects fled the scene when a cus­tom­er entered the store, head­ing south on Am­ber Street to­wards Castor Av­en­ue. 

The first sus­pect is de­scribed as a black male, 20-25 years-of-age, 5’7”, dark com­plex­ion, thin build, wear­ing a black scarf cov­er­ing his nose and mouth, black Nike hooded sweat­shirt, blue jeans, tat­too of “AP” on his right hand and armed with a hand­gun.

The second sus­pect is de­scribed as a black male, 20-25 years-of-age, 5’7”, dark com­plex­ion, thin build, wear­ing a red or or­ange hooded sweat­shirt, blue jeans and black gloves.

Any­one with in­form­a­tion is urged to con­tact Phil­adelphia Po­lice at 215-686-TIPS (8477), text a tip to PPD TIP (773847) or by vis­it­ing www.philly­po­ 

Stand­ard Tap to donate to Phil­abund­ance 

Stand­ard Tap, 901 N. 2nd St., has taken to opent­ to al­low re­ser­va­tions for lunch and din­ner in its second-floor din­ing room and porch, ac­cord­ing to

Both bars and the first floor will re­main first come, first served. 

For every on­line re­ser­va­tion re­ceived now through Christ­mas Day, Stand­ard Tap will donate $2 to Phil­abund­ance. Type the word “Phil­abund­ance” in the “Spe­cial Re­quests” field.

The loc­al land­mark, which helped launch the city’s gast­rop­ub move­ment when it opened 14 years ago, al­lowed re­ser­va­tions in the past, but only for parties of 20 or more, co-own­er Wil­li­am Reed told

Fire in Fishtown dis­places two from home 

A fire was re­por­ted at 1657 E. Berks St., an oc­cu­pied corner prop­erty, last Thursday af­ter­noon, Dec. 12.

The fire de­part­ment was dis­patched at 1:20 p.m., and ar­rived at the scene to heavy flames com­ing from the house. By 1:47 p.m., the fire was re­por­ted un­der con­trol. 

One adult male and one adult fe­male were dis­placed from the home, ac­cord­ing to ex­ec­ut­ive chief Richard Dav­is­on. The Red Cross has been no­ti­fied by the fire de­part­ment. 

No in­jur­ies or med­ic­al trans­ports were re­por­ted from the fire, Dav­is­on said. The cause of the fire is still un­der in­vest­ig­a­tion by the Fire Mar­shal.

Cut your 2014 taxes with LOOP pro­gram

Long­time res­id­ents who this year saw their homes’ as­sess­ments more than triple are be­ing in­vited to par­ti­cip­ate in a pro­gram that could cut their 2014 taxes by hun­dreds of dol­lars.

Last week, the city began mail­ing in­form­a­tion about the Long­time Own­er Oc­cu­pants Pro­gram, or LOOP, to about 80,000 homeown­ers, said Mark Mc­Don­ald, May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter’s spokes­man.

If they’re eli­gible, those homeown­ers could see tax sav­ings from a few dol­lars to thou­sands of dol­lars, Mc­Don­ald said. Those tax de­creases should av­er­age out at about $700, he ad­ded.

However, not all 80,000 will be eli­gible, he said.

Those who haven’t lived in their homes for 10 or more years (since Ju­ly 1, 2003) won’t qual­i­fy, and neither will those whose house­hold in­comes are high­er than the fairly lib­er­al levels the city has set.

For ex­ample, a single-per­son house­hold can have an in­come of $83,200, and a four-per­son house­hold can have an in­come of $118,800.

There are a few oth­er qual­i­fi­ers:

— Your home is either a single-fam­ily prop­erty or one that has no more than three res­id­en­tial units and one com­mer­cial unit.

— Your prop­erty has not re­ceived a tax abate­ment.

— Your real es­tate taxes are paid in full, you are cur­rent with a pay­ment plan or have an ap­plic­a­tion for a pay­ment plan pending.

The dead­line to ap­ply is Jan. 15, said City Coun­cil­man Mark Squilla (D-1st dist.), but he ad­ded coun­cil wants to ex­tend that to Feb. 15.

Most North­east res­id­ents aren’t go­ing to see this city mail­ing. Few saw the mar­ket val­ues of their homes go up more than three times their 2013 as­sess­ments. The pro­gram, Mc­Don­ald said, will have most of its im­pact in Kens­ing­ton, Fishtown, South Philly, Uni­versity City, Fair­mount and Brew­erytown. 

Those are the neigh­bor­hoods that got hit hard­est by the city­wide prop­erty re­as­sess­ment com­pleted this year.

Squilla, whose dis­trict runs from South Philly to Port Rich­mond, in­cludes many of the prop­er­ties whose as­sess­ments more than tripled this year.

“I be­lieve this is a ne­ces­sary safe­guard,” he said of LOOP. The pro­gram will mit­ig­ate the ef­fects of the high as­sess­ments, he said. Also, seni­ors whose in­comes made them in­eligible for oth­er tax-re­lief pro­grams will be able to take ad­vant­age of LOOP.

For more in­form­a­tion, call 215-686-9200 or vis­it

Loc­al priest deemed ‘un­suit­able for min­istry’ 

The city’s Ro­man Cath­ol­ic arch­diocese on Sunday an­nounced it had re­solved the sexu­al mis­con­duct in­vest­ig­a­tions of sev­en priests that have been on ad­min­is­trat­ive leave since a Phil­adelphia grand jury re­port on sexu­al ab­use by clergy was re­leased in Feb­ru­ary 2011.

Among the five priests found “un­suit­able for min­istry” was the Rev. Steph­en Perz­an, 75, who served twice at Vis­it­a­tion B.V.M. in Kens­ing­ton. Perz­an, who served in many city and sub­urb­an par­ishes since his or­din­a­tion in 1973, was found to have vi­ol­ated the Church’s Stand­ards of Min­is­teri­al Be­ha­vi­or and Bound­ar­ies. However, an al­leg­a­tion he sexu­ally ab­used a minor was not sub­stan­ti­ated by arch­dioces­an in­vest­ig­at­ors.

While on ad­min­is­trat­ive leave, Perz­an is not per­mit­ted to ad­min­is­ter the sac­ra­ments, have an act­ive min­istry or even wear cler­ic­al clothes. 

No de­tails of the mis­con­duct al­leg­a­tions made against Perz­an were re­leased Sunday. Arch­bish­op Charles Chaput will make a fi­nal de­term­in­a­tion on Perz­an’s case.

The oth­er priests all had served in and around Phil­adelphia since their or­din­a­tions. 

Taylor Hosts An­nu­al Toy Drive

Rep. John Taylor (R-177th dist.) is spon­sor­ing his an­nu­al toy drive for needy chil­dren in his dis­trict. 

“Christ­mas is the sea­son for shar­ing and giv­ing,” Taylor said. “Each year, people throughout my dis­trict come to­geth­er for this worthy toy drive.” 

Toys and gifts are needed for chil­dren from  birth to 10 years old. Each dona­tion, no mat­ter how small, helps an­oth­er fam­ily ex­per­i­ence the mean­ing of Christ­mas.

Items need be new and un­wrapped. Gifts can be dropped off at Taylor’s of­fices at 2901 E. Thompson St. and Rich­mond Street. The toys col­lec­ted will be dis­trib­uted to fam­il­ies in time for Christ­mas. 

“Please help us help the fam­il­ies in need throughout my dis­trict ex­per­i­ence a more joy­ful Christ­mas,” Taylor said. 

This is the 20th an­nu­al Christ­mas toy drive that Taylor has sponsored for his dis­trict. ••

PGW work up­date

Be­low is the con­struc­tion up­date for the week end­ing Dec. 22, 2013, for PGW’s Ser­vice Im­prove­ment Pro­gram: Frank­ford Av­en­ue.

A main crew will be in ac­tion on Al­legheny Av­en­ue between Collins and Am­ber Street. A res­tor­a­tion crew will be in ac­tion run­ning north on Frank­ford Av­en­ue between Elkhart and Clear­field streets.

As a re­mind­er the work hours as­signed to PGW for this pro­ject are between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

If you have ques­tions about the pro­ject; call our pro­ject hot­line at: 215-684-6767 and leave a mes­sage. 

You can also vis­it­­s­ites to see where PGW is work­ing around Phil­adelphia. ••

Loc­al crime study re­leased

The Phil­adelphia Po­lice De­part­ment has com­mis­sioned a Temple Uni­versity study of crime in and around the Kens­ing­ton and Al­legheny mass trans­it hub.

Chief In­spect­or Den­nis Wilson of the Phil­adelphia PD’s Re­gion­al Op­er­a­tions Com­mand North, said K&A is only part of the study’s fo­cus. Trans­port­a­tion hubs at the Frank­ford ter­min­al and Broad and Ol­ney are oth­ers. Temple Uni­versity pro­fess­or Jerry Ratcliffe is work­ing with po­lice com­mand­ers in those areas to ana­lyze crime stat­ist­ics. The goal of this “work in pro­gress,” Wilson said, is to help the cap­tains bet­ter de­ploy their re­sources.

“We’ve al­ways had is­sues in these three areas,” Wilson said.

Each cap­tain as well as SEPTA’s force has an ana­lyst “drilling down in­to the crime in these areas,” he said.

Philly po­lice do that every day, Wilson said dur­ing a Dec. 12 in­ter­view, but po­lice do it bet­ter and faster now than they pre­vi­ously did. Wilson poin­ted to a soph­ist­ic­ated com­puter map­ping sys­tem in which he can look at every crime com­mit­ted in Phil­adelphia.  

This new Temple Uni­versity study, which began three months ago, is ex­pec­ted to go deep­er.   

“We’re look­ing at each of­fend­er, where he is from and what he was do­ing in the area,” Wilson said, and “we’re look­ing at the same in­form­a­tion for the vic­tims.”

He said ana­lysts also are look­ing in­to which days the crimes were com­mit­ted and the times as well as en­vir­on­ment­al factors around the crime scenes.

Each of the ana­lysts who are go­ing over these factors are en­cour­aged to come up with his or her own hy­po­thes­is, Wilson said, which they then are ex­pec­ted to back up.

Land bank ap­proved

City Coun­cil last week ap­proved a meas­ure that would cre­ate a land bank of aban­doned prop­er­ties that the city could quickly take over and sell. The bill, sponsored by Coun­cil­wo­man Maria Quinones Sanc­hez (D-7th dist.), passed un­an­im­ously.

Phil­adelphia’s land bank would have the au­thor­ity to ac­quire va­cant, tax-de­lin­quent prop­er­ties through sher­iff’s sale and be­gin the pro­cess of con­sol­id­at­ing title of and mak­ing avail­able for sale the 9,082 va­cant prop­er­ties cur­rently owned by the City of Phil­adelphia, ac­cord­ing to City Coun­cil Pres­id­ent Dar­rell Clarke (D-5th dist.). Phil­adelphia’s land bank would be the largest mu­ni­cip­al land bank in the na­tion. 

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